Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 27:
After earning accolades for successfully hosting the men’s Hockey Champions Trophy in 2014, Odisha is going to host the men’s Hockey World Cup in 2018 and men’s Hockey World League Final in 2017.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik made a formal announcement in this regard today.
The two prestigious tournaments will be played at the Kalinga Stadium here for which the state government will provide international-standard facilities, Patnaik said.
Both these events will strengthen the place of Bhubaneswar among the finest hockey destinations in the world. These mega events will provide exposure to Odia boys and girls to best hockey teams and hockey players in the world, and thus inspire them for taking up hockey, he said.
“To ensure that all the players, officials and visitors have a pleasant experience during the World Cup, we have chalked out a number of infrastructure development projects which will give a facelift to Bhubaneswar and make it more pleasant for visitors as well as residents,” he added.
It was also confirmed that Odisha will be the title sponsor of both events. As a result, the official event titles will be the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 and the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, according to the official statement of International Hockey Federation (FIH).
The Hockey World League Final will be played at the venue from December 1 to 10, 2017.
Similarly, the Hockey World Cup will be held at the stadium from November 28 to Dec 16, 2018.
Fans will descend upon the Kalinga Stadium here to share the glory of two of hockey’s biggest events, where World League and World Cup champions will be crowned.
The multi-purpose stadium, built in 2010, has facilities for athletics, football, basketball, tennis, table-tennis and swimming, ensuring that it is well-equipped to host international sporting events.
Commenting on the announcement, FIH CEO Jason McCracken said: “India is a nation with a proud hockey heritage with a history of hosting world-class sports events. Each time we return to the country, Hockey India raise the bar, embracing goals outlined in our 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy aimed at making our events innovative and exciting for our fans.”
“We have no doubt that the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 and the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 will be unforgettable events for everyone involved,” he added.
FIH President Narinder Dhruv Batra also commented on the development and said: “Bhubaneswar is a city ready to welcome the world. Its passionate sports fans and our experienced hosts will create an incredible environment for our stars to shine during what are the two of the biggest events in our sport.”
“We encourage fans from across the world to come together and share the glory with their teams, each of them aiming to become world champions in these respective competitions. In doing so, fans will also get to experience first-hand the rich culture and warm hospitality offered by this amazing part of the world,” he added.
(With IANS inputs)